The impact of social media on the lifestyle of young people

Original Article, Pol J Public Health 2020;130: 8-13

Witold Wojdan1, Krystian Wdowiak1, Aleksandra Witas1,
Justyna Drogoń1, Wojciech Brakowiecki2

1 Studenckie Koło naukowe przy Katedrze i Zakładzie Zdrowia Publicznego – Uniwersytet Medyczny w Lublinie, Poland

2 Chair and Department of Public Health, Medical University of Lublin, Poland


DOI_disc_logo 10.2478/pjph-2020-0003

© 2020 Medical University of Lublin. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonComercial-No Derivs licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/)

Abstract

Introduction. Young people are particularly vulnerable to new trends in internet use. Schoolchildren often lose themselves in the virtual world, forgetting about the real world. This leads to difficulties in contact with family or peers, a decline in academic performance, and even to road accidents. Some young people try to gain popularity on the Internet at all costs, thinking that only this will make them better people. In some youth circles, people who are less popular in the Internet are excluded – social media are therefore another reason for dividing young people.

Aim. The aim of the study is to determine the habits related to the use of social media by young people in order to analyze the obtained data in terms of: assessing an addiction of the studied group, impact on private life, education and selecting the necessary educational programs.

Material and method. The study used an anonymous questionnaire conducted in electronic form on a group of students attending high schools and technical schools all over Poland. The study was conducted using a proprietary questionnaire (Google form) completed online. The questionnaire mainly consisted of closed-ended questions verifying habits related to using social media and a certificate (age, gender, voivodship, size of the place of residence, type of school). The following computer programs were used for statistical analysis of data: Statistica and Microsoft Excel.

Results. The research proved that the most popular social media among young people are Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat. Most of the respondents spend 3-4 hours a day on social media. Most of the respondents neglect sleep and household chores because of them.

Conclusions. Young people spend too much time during the day using social media. Social media have a negative impact on school education and the length of sleep of young people. A large proportion of young people is unaware of the dangers that await them online, and that social media have a negative impact on interpersonal contacts in the real world, therefore it is necessary to increase the knowledge of young people about the dangers lurking on the Internet and introduce educational programs to solve this problem.


Keywords: youth, social media, internet, behavioral addictions, public health, habits.

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